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Stay Strong Stay Safe My Son
Stay Strong Stay Safe My Son

Semper Fi Post Earrings
Semper Fi Post Earrings

Desert Fighting Knife Ka-Bar -  Makes a great gift!
Desert Fighting Knife Ka-Bar - Makes a great gift!

Operation Iraqi Freedom Convoy Coffee Mug
Operation Iraqi Freedom Convoy Coffee Mug

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I woke up this morning, took a nice hot 10 minute shower, shaved with hot water, in a nice clean bathroom, it was quiet, I was not hanging out with 20 other Jarheads, I was not wearing shower shoes, I pulled my nice clean uniform on and walked into the kitchen, my wife was already there making me a nice hot bowl of oatmeal, I didn't have to walk to the chow hall and eat food that was meant to be good, but got lost in its preparation for 5,000 people. I ate in quiet, watched a little morning news, kissed my beautiful wife, jumped in my car, stopped at the local Starbucks and took a nice quite drive to work, no one shot at me or tried to blow me up, just give me my Starbucks and the AM radio..............................It's good to be home

GunnyD (Recently returned from Iraq)

Special USMC Emblem Shirts

Special USMC Emblem Shirts

New for a short time - order these custom colored shirts with the USMC emblem discreetly featured. Sgt Grit wears these every day! Available in a Men's Golf Shirt, Men's T-Shirt, Women's Golf Shirt, And Women's relaxed fit T-Shirt. ONLY available through May 7th...

Memorial Day Shirt Special

Last Weekend to Order - MEMORIAL DAY Shirt Special

Memorial Day t-shirts, sweatshirts, and long-sleeved t-shirts are available to order until April 23rd - You'll receive them in time for Memorial Day! In Remembrance...

Mother's Items Special

NEW - Mother's Items on Special This Week

Don't forget to get that Marine Mom something Great for Mother's Day! 20% off select Marine Corps Mom Items - including a coin, decal, Mother's flags and more...

YL-37 Ugly Angel is back again!

yl37-Ugly Angel Be sure to stop by the Sgt GriTogether this year on May 13 to see this magnificent flying memorial...Get details here:

Most recently a Marine from my nearby hometown returned home. He did not step off a plane to greet his parents, family and friends, for he returned in a casket, killed in an accident in Iraq. As I read about this Marine in our local newspaper I could see my own son for he is also a Marine. I felt that I had to pay my respects to this Marine's family. As I spoke with his father I could see how much he loved his son and how much he respected him in his decision to become a US MARINE. About this time his mother approached me and gave me a piece of information that holds so true of all Marines, she proudly informed me that her son did not choice to be a Marine, but that the Marines had chosen him into their brotherhood. with this we both hugged and shed a few tears and agreed that our sons had done the most honorable thing with their lives. Cpl.Andres Aguilar will never be forgotten, for he is truly one of America's finest. I wish only the best to the Aguilar family and I offer my support.

To Cpl.Andres Aguilar Semper Fi!

Sgt. Grit,

My favorite part of your newsletter is the quotes, I have a running list of my favorite quotes on my desk. After reading the Stonewall Jackson quote I felt it needed an update.

"To Whom It May Concern, my training teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. My enemy has a fixed time of death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when I may need to help him meet death...That is the way all Marines should live, and then all would be equally brave"

Respectfully Submitted
Cpl Sean Tuckey USMCR,
adopted from famous Stonewall Jackson quote

My son joined the Marines after he graduated high school, went to boot camp in San Diego. We went out for graduation, and it was fabulous, knowing how the young men were before boot camp and how proud they were marching in uniform in front of their parents and grandparents. My son mos is airframer he is in HMH463. He is now in Iraq for 7 months, but the story goes back to after his boot camp on his way back to Camp Pendleton to finish training. He called when he got to California and said that stewardess said to the rest of the passengers that they were on the most secure flight in the air that day because that there were 20 Marines on it, heading to California.my son told us that everybody on the plane started to clap and holler for them to stand and be congratulated.

From a proud Marine DAD

I spent six years in the Corps from 1986-1992, first with 2/4 and then at Marine Barracks Subic Bay. After attending college and law school and then practicing law for a few years, I missed the military life. For various reasons I signed on with the Air Force as a Judge Advocate. Air Force life is certainly nothing like the Marine Corps, but I thought I'd share one difference.

More often than I thought, I run into someone who is either currently serving in the Marines or is a former Marine like myself. Sometimes it's a tattoo that either I or the other person notices; other times it is something that is said, but inevitably two people who've served in the Corps make the connection. Many times when this has happened, I've been with someone I work with in the Air Force. They are constantly amazed that two total strangers will immediately share a bond and speak to one another as if they were long lost friends.

Recently, one of them asked me what it was all about. I asked him if he ever ran into people who used to be in the Air Force and he said that he had but that it was nothing like witnessing me run into another former Marine.

I told him that we shared a common bond because regardless of whether the former Marine went to Parris Island or San Diego, we went through the same training, were taught the same values, and were instilled with a pride that reaches back more that 230 years and stays with us to such an extent that we embody the statement "Once a Marine, Always a Marine." He nodded his head, but I could tell he didn't fully understand. Those of you reading this understand. It's a shame he never will.

There is also something else that happened just the other day that captures what it's like to be a Marine and what others think of that. I am currently deployed to Kirkuk, Iraq where we have a large contingent of soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division, a unit with a proud heritage (e.g. Band of Brothers). While walking through the chow hall (neither the Air Force or the Army call it that, but there are some terms I just can't shake), I noticed a soldier in uniform with a 2 MARDIV patch on his right shoulder.

On questioning him, I found out that his unit had been attached to the Marines down south for a bit. Once a soldier has been in combat with a unit for 90 days, he is entitled to wear that unit's patch on his right shoulder.

He's been with the 101st in Iraq for nearly six months, but chose to wear the Marine patch rather than that of his own service. I took that as a compliment, but I am glad I don't need the patch; I have the title.

Semper Fi
Staff Judge Advocate
506 Air Expeditionary Group
Kirkuk Regional Air Base, Iraq

"The line here is 'respect.' Everybody's busy professing their 'respect': We all 'respect' Islam; presidents and prime ministers and foreign ministers, lapsing so routinely into the deep-respect-for-the-religion-of-peace routine they forget that cumulatively it begins to sound less like 'Let's roll!' and too often like 'Let's roll over!'
—Mark Steyn

My name is Alan Weiss President of Marine Helicopter Squadron 361 Veterans assoc. Our website is www.34restoration.org for the past 5 years we have been restoring to flying condition a Marine Corps UH-34D helicopter that flew in Vietnam for 6 years. This helicopter will travel the U.S. as a Memorial. We need your help getting the word out, this project is funded by donations and we now need sponsors to help keep it going. Please send a tax deductible donation to Marine Helicopter Squadron 361 Vets PO Box 429 Cutchogue, NY 11935

Semper Fi
Alan Weiss

Dear Tina of Akron: I live in a County east of Cincinnati called Clermont County. We are very aware of the war in Iraq because one of our sons is a prisoner of war. His name is Sgt Matt Maupin and this is the 2nd anniversary of his capture. Not everyone in Ohio is that ignorant. If you visited us in Clermont County you would certainly be welcome and loved. My son is a US Marine and is serving now in Falujah. He is proud to be serving his country and we keep a blue star in our window and car also. Most people here know what the blue star represents. It is too bad the people of Akron has lost touch with the war and her sons. I know we have not.

LCPL Bryan C Hawkins

Dear Veterans,

The longer I live, the more I understand the sacrifices made in my behalf.

Much of it is beyond my comprehension, but what I can grasp is profoundly moving to me. I am deeply humbled at the thought of the dreams lost, of families and loves left behind, of innocence shattered and trampled underfoot by the grim and brutal realities of freedom's cost.

Although the price was great, how much worse would it have been if you had not met the challenge? If you hadn't answered the clarion call of Liberty's need, what a miserable world your children would have inherited!

My greatest regret is that I have not had the privilege to serve our country in uniform. I have not defended her by force of arms. Yet, I strive to fulfill that measure of loyalty by proudly flying her flag, by obeying her laws, by participating in the precious election process that cost so much and by heeding the call of my civil duties.

Please know also that I recognize the burden your service placed upon your families. Without their support and encouragement, your efforts would have been largely in vain. They are called upon by our country as well, asked to give little less than those in the ships, planes, tanks and foxholes. I hope they have been able to rise above the hardships to persevere, to excel and to succeed.

These few words cannot possibly express my heart-felt thanks or the wells of emotion that fill my soul with gratitude for the blessings of Liberty that, with the help of the Lord, you have provided. They do not rise to the level of your service, but it's all I can hope to offer - thank you, veterans, thank you.

Semper Fi and God bless you!
Jon Mitchell, Garland, UT.

My name is Jessie, I'm 18 years old and in the DEP, i leave for Parris Island June 17th of this year, and this is just a little story that made me understand all the things you talk about in this newsletter, the camaraderie and es spririt de corps, a little bit better, and first hand. My brother works in a deli and was fixing a diner plate for a young man, about the age of 26 or 27. My brother was trying not to let all of his food mix together when the man looks up at him and says "I was in the Marine Corps for 8 years, I can take it if my food runs together, don't worry about it." MY brother answered him by saying "Really? My little sister enlisted in the Marine Corps and leaves for Parris Island soon." (this is what brought everything home) The man replies to my brother "Well, you tell her that one of her brothers says to be careful and have fun."

I just thought that was awesome when my brother came home and told me that. I could read about stories of camaraderie and Marines taking up for other Marines and so fourth all day, but you can never really understand what it feels like and what it really means until something like this happens to you. And i know this is no big thing, but it was just a little something that reminded me of one of the reasons i enlisted in the first place, and brought everything else in to light.

Semper Fi Marines, God Bless!

Sgt....my husband and I are proud parents of a US Marine, and he has been to Iraq and back. We had the opportunity to visit the MCRD in San Diego this past week, and toured the museum and saw the parade deck and watched some of our very young, but very brave Marines train to protect us...it was awesome, and I had a hard time not standing there and bawling my eyes out. I was as proud of each of those boys as if they were my own son. We watched as they took in the history being taught, and saw that small bit of fear as they realized the immense responsibility that they would soon take on. We walked away from there knowing that because of all these new members to the Marine Corp Family, we are going to be even more comfortable about sleeping soundly at night. It is an experience that I wish all people would expose themselves to.

I also want the Marine Mom with the son in Iraq to know that she is not alone in being proud to let everyone know her son is defending our country. I did the same thing, and still do even though he is back. I want everyone to know that he was there, protecting us and our rights to be free. I will always be proud of him...I could never imagine having to be in that situation and handling it the way they do..how and when did these little boys of ours turn into the strong young Marines that they have become??????? I love that young Marine, but sometimes I sure miss that little boy....

Proud Texas Marine MOM

Sgt. Grit.
I really enjoy receiving and reading your newsletters. It helps out a bunch!

My wife & I have 2 sons. The oldest is a Cav Scout with the 3rd ACR. He just returned on Valentine's Day after serving a year in Iraq. The youngest is a "Marine" at Camp Lejeune, awaiting a September deployment. As "DAD," it has always been my job to protect these 2 young men. I can no longer do this!

This is a very hard fact to accept. I am grateful that my boys have new families.

My Marine tells how close he is becoming to his new family members. He tells how the more experienced Marines tell him what to expect & how to handle situations he may face during his deployment. His confidence seems to grow with each phone call we receive. I know he is receiving the best possible training & that his "Brothers" have his back. This makes it a lot easier for MOM & I, as we know he will be in harm's way before long. Before he entered the CORPS, I had respect for Marines but it is unbelievable how much more this has grown. I was always proud of my 2 boys but it is hard to express how much "PRIDE" & "RESPECT" I feel. I have seen others show this same respect to my sons. They have thanked them for their service, bought them meals & magazines at the airports and one airline even moved the youngest to 1st class during one of his flights home! I hope other "DADS" have been able to experience these same feelings. I now realize that others have taken the place of "DAD."

I know that with their training and their new family, they will be protected.

I still pray for my sons safety as well as the other sons & daughters of all the "DADS" out there. I am confident they will return home safely! Thanks for listening.

a "DAD" from Ohio

Sgt Grit,

The Newsletter was great as always. Thanks! Unless anyone out there is one of the 10% who didn't get the word, you know Katie Couric is going to CBS.

Doing what her "heart and her gut" told her to. Well, I wish Katie the best, but I'd like her, and a whole of folks to remember, that plenty of Marines are doing what there hearts and guts told them to do. What they are doing takes a whole lot of "heart and guts" as well. To these fellow Marines, and members of each branch of the Armed Forces deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq.

God Bless and God Speed.
Semper Fi.
L/Cpl P.C. Callahan USMC

To Tina in Akron
I say Semper Fi to your husband the Navy Corpsman, but to you I say get your head out of your *ss. Not every one is stupid although there are plenty, we should not live such a negative life as the one you have portrayed. You as a military dependant have special rights and so do the rest of the citizens.

Some may know where the war is some may not care, but its not up to you to call everyone stupid and act as if your too special because your husband is serving.

It seems to me you think the world owes "YOU" for your husbands service, sorry but no one owes you squat and we would respect you more if you stopped your whining and realizes that people are different all over our Great Nation.

If you want a discount go to the PX, if its to far, don't get p! ssed because the locals stores, mostly chain stores anyway, wont give you a military discount.

Shut up, support your husband, after all he's the one who is paying a price and he knew it when he joined. You are owed nothing, but can expect as much Respect as you give.

A Cranmore

First, let me say how much I enjoy the Newsletter. I was reading Newsletter #120 last week and enjoyed USMC Cpl Goog's letter regarding being at the wall on Veterans Day and his remarks from USMC Gen Pace. I was there also and was moved by what I saw and herd from Gen. Pace. I was very proud as always, to be a Marine Veteran.

In addition to that experience, My son and I were invited to the 40th anniversary of the la Drang Valley Vets reunion that evening. It also was a moving experience as I met Gen. Moore and many others. Again thanks for the info that you forward to us each week.

Semper Fi
SSgt Larry Shell

Since my Brother joined the Marines in January 2005. It has everything I am looking for in it. My Brother was based in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. He was deployed over to Afghanistan January 8th, 2006. He was out on a patrol on March 13th and they were maneuvering in on a suspicious vehicle when the humvee he was riding in (up in the gunner's seat) rolled over and killed him. Lance Cpl Nicholas Anderson served with the 1/3 Bravo Company, Lava Dogs. We are all very proud of him and his service to our country. Once a Marine, Always a Marine.

Jessica Yanke
Very Proud Sister of Lance Cpl Nicholas Anderson
1/3 B. Company

Dear Sgt Grit, I am just writing to send out my prayers and thoughts for my Fiancé and other Marines of 1/7 currently serving near the Syrian Border in Iraq. We are looking forward to their return in September 2006. Recently, a young man from the unit was involved in an accident with an IED and has lived, but has been sent back to the United States to be taken care of, and most likely medically discharged. Thankfully, we still have that young man in the world today. Thank God for the angels that watched over him that day. I have never met him, but he is a "brother" of my fiancé's. Hopefully I will get to meet him when I travel to 29 Palms for 1/7's return so that I can thank him for his dedication and sacrifice to keep our country safe.

Pray for a safe return for all of our United States Marines.
Please return home safe OOHRAH!
--Loving fiancé of a US Marine

Hey Rod my Son Lcpl Aaron Beaver is also with the Vipers of HMLA 169 which were deployed last week. Just wanted to say congrats on your sons wedding. We also have an Marine family. My Brother was in Nam and his son was in the first Gulf war. I was in from 74 to 77. Just to let you know your extended Marine family is praying for your son and all of our sons and daughters no matter where they serve.

Semper Fi my Friend
God bless and protect our Sons
Randy Beaver
MOS 1371
USMC 74 - 77

Hello Sgt Grit,
I would just like to share this feelings to all Marine families. Every time I am driving my red SUV with Marine stickers on it which I am very proud to be a part of the elite group, people of all colors will stop me and say please Mom tell your son thank you for serving our country and I thank you for having one fine son. Then I smile to them and thank them for giving our brave people some recognition for a fine job well done.Hoorahhhhhhhh!

India Company 35 years later

Logsdon Picture One On April 6th my twin sons, Louis and Norb, received their Eagle, Globe and Anchor and became United States Marines. The next day they graduated with India Company in Platoon 3071! Aside from their birth, that was the proudest two days of my life.

We traveled from Jacksonville, Florida to attend their graduation and Family Day at MCRD San Diego. Our home is only 3 hours from Parris Island, but they were allowed to go through recruit training in San Diego because the Marine Corps Legacy program. I went through boot camp in Platoon 3056 in San Diego in 1971, coincidentally in the same Company – India!

Logsdon Picture One I was able to find 2 of my old cover emblems and brought them with me to San Diego, along with something very special from an Iwo Jima veteran, Cpl Gene Gustad, affectionately known by the members Sgt Grit web forum as "Poppa Gene".

I was unable to locate my sons' SDI Wednesday evening, even with the assistance of the 3d Bn Operations Chief, but I met a Drill Instructor from Lima Company, SSgt Jacobs, who offered to personally find him and deliver the cover emblems. Thursday morning before the emblem ceremony my sons' SDI told them he had something from their dad and would deliver it at the ceremony. Sure enough, he made them Marines with my old emblems! I could easily see they were mine, as they were ‘salty' and black finish was rubbed off and the brass shown through! When they were dismissed for base liberty the flood gates of emotion broke loose. I cried tears of joy as I hugged both of them together....

Read More and See More Pictures

If you did not see it in USA Today. The city council has approved a bill for houses and retail to be built at the now closed air station where I, in 1984 drove and protected the Station Commanding Officer, Colonel Robert Mitchell and his wife, along with various other high ranking officers. The article stated that they have not decided on what to do with the 17 story blimp hangars used during WWII. The hangars are listed as National Monuments and doesn't this mean that they are not to be torn down? If this is allowed to happen what will be next of our Marine Corps History, THE WALL?
Something has to be done.
Robert R. Barnes
U.S. Marine 1981-1995

"It should be the highest ambition of every American...to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn."
—George Washington

As a long time reader of your newsletter, I truly enjoy the stories sent to you about chance meetings of your readers and men and women who are serving or have served in the Marine Corps......I have one story I wanted to share with you and your readers.....it happened last week....

I work in a mall in the Maryland area. We are in close proximity to Bethesda Naval Hospital and Walter Reed Army Hospital. For that reason, we often have wounded veterans who are on a day trip to the mall with family....

As you can imagine, many are easy to identify, as they are missing limbs, have shrapnel scars, surgery scars, etc. As the relative of a Marine, I am very much affected when I see these wounded veterans and whenever possible I make a point of approaching them and thanking them for their service.

Last week a young man in a wheelchair, with one leg missing, accompanied by a young female companion, were passing the store where I work. I walked out to them and said "I hope it is not an intrusion, and I imagine there are must be many people who stop to speak to you and to thank you for your service, but I want to personally thank you and tell you from the bottom of my heart that I am grateful to you and your sacrifice, and I would like to give you a hug." He said he truly appreciated my taking the time, accepted the hug, and then said "Actually, you are the first person to stop and say or do anything"..........

Well, I do not have to tell you how stunned I was to hear that...as I turned away the tears were flowing....and I realized that most people probably do not feel comfortable approaching these brave men and women, do not know what to say, so they say nothing....

All I can say is......and those of you reading this know, it is those words and gestures that our heroes need to know that their sacrifice was not in vain. I read this in this forum often...we know, we care, and we are not afraid to show that we do.....but we need to make others who are not involved with military families aware of just how important it is to show our feelings to them.

I am so very fortunate to have moments like this happen on a regular basis...it is one of the perks of being in this mall...I cherish each and every moment such as this one, and have actually made some good friends in the process.

Not to be long winded, but there is one more amazing story that happened several weeks ago. There was a wounded Marine in the hall, his mother and sister nearby.....I had a feeling he was a Marine by his stature...so I asked what unit he was with....he said 2nd Tank Bn.

I have been sending care packages for the last three years....as fate would have it, I am now shipping to his battalion, and he said all my POC's are the Marines he was serving with before the IED sent him to Bethesda. I can tell you there have been so many coincidences such as this.....meeting Marines whose units I ship to.....such a small world we live in....that particular Marine had two other brothers serving in Iraq and his youngest brother was about to head for boot camp this summer....I hugged his mom and thanked her for her tremendous contribution to our Corps.

Sorry to take so much space, and I could take more..with all the beautiful experiences I live every day.

God Bless our Corps and their families. There is no greater family on this earth.

Susan Warren
Proud aunt of a Cpl in the USMC

Dear Sgt. Grunt,

My name is Deborah Hill, and I am the proud mom of LCPL Timothy Joseph Hill, from the 8th ESB, H&S Construction Shop, Unit 73681 that just recently returned from a tour in Iraq. He came home to Elyria, Ohio on March 22nd, for a much-deserved 2-week leave.

One of the goals my son had upon returning from Iraq was to obtain his driver's license and buy a car. Joe hadn't had his driver's license for quite a while, and had to re-take his driver's test to do so. The procedure was that he had to obtain his temporary permit, wait 2 weeks, then take his actual driver's test. When Joe and his father went to the BMV in downtown Elyria to sign him up, they explained to the clerk that he has been in the Marine Corps for 2 and a half years and just returned from Iraq and is home on 2 weeks leave. Joe was very disappointed to learn he had to wait 2 weeks, because he didn't have that much time before he had to report back to Camp LeJeune.

The clerk was very sympathetic to his plight, and said "Here you are, serving our country and laying your life down for us and we're going to make you wait?" She told Joe, "You wait right here", and marched over to the driver's examination station. After speaking to the patrolman there, she returned to her desk to announce that Joe was scheduled to take his driver's test- right now!

So our son got his temporary permit, and subsequent driver's license all in one day, thanks to a very patriotic clerk at the BMV. Joe left to return to Camp LeJeune with a big smile on his face, with his newly acquired Ohio driver's license, in his newly acquired T-Bird!

I wanted to share this story with you to let others know that there are still people out there who appreciate what our sons and daughters are doing in Iraq, serving our country in the USMC-Semper Fi!


But screw your courage to the sticking place and we'll not fail.
Act 1 scene 7
Lady Macbeth

Hey Sgt.

I served from 1988 to 1994 and had to get out due to blown out knees, which they are still trying to fix with my upcoming eleventh and twelfth surgeries (I still have NO regrets). I come from a long time military family and married into another. Between the two sets of families there are (counting grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and first and second cousins) at least 50 of us. Starting with World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Panama, the First Gulf War, Somalia, and our present conflict -- all of us are proud to have served in all branches of our military. And, of course, I must stand and defend that the Corps is the best. Semper Fi. As I said, just signing in and wishing the best to those in harm's way.

Scott Stevens

The Marine
PFC Adams, Brent I.

Pressed by unfortunate events or willfully beginning this journey in the spirit of service, reluctantly inching down a shrouded and unknown path; he feigns confidence, but is betrayed by the wideness of his own eyes. In this new world, he cannot stand on his own. A painful but strengthening deconstruction places him in the lowest state of his life.

A Challenge–"Can I do this?" he asks. "Why am I here?" he searches. As of now it is not clear. But soon he will know and count this decision among the best he has ever made. If he can push himself everyday to surpass the actions of the young boy he left behind the taps before.

When the storm has finally calmed, although he has been racked by pain, ripped to the very raw core of his being and relentlessly pushed to rebuild himself into a figure greater than he has ever known, a peace comes with the welcomed reflection of weeks past. At last, he has been made. The old and unrecognizable visage that had once identified him has been torn asunder revealing a new man. His eyes are hard and focused.

His body is lean and ready. He now knows why he is here and for what and whom he performs his duties. For his wife and child, who he misses dearly and prays everyday to his Lord and Savior to protect them with a ready sword and to speed him home safely– a reprieve from the foreign air and the horrors of battle. For every joyous multitude, by day or night exercising their God given right to assemble; bearing smiling faces and whose exhortation of mirthful laughter emanates a warmth and spirit of love that moves him or anyone like him, to hold death as a small price to pay for its preservation.

For the bright faces and beautiful minds of his own generation within every college or university, despite how they might scorn him, to ensure their enlightenment's fruition and equip our nation with the forerunners of the future.

For the unadulterated and unrestricted gaining and passing of information by the other defenders of the people –the press, regardless of how they might misrepresent his actions and effectiveness or downplay his worth, he recognizes the sanctity of the written or spoken word in our society. And he expresses his own message to our enemies, not with a pen, but with a sword.

-For the men who came before him; and selflessly gave much–and all. To honor their actions by holding himself to even more rigid standards and being driven by the same forces that pushed those predecessors on to victory. He disproves the theory surrounding a supposedly apathetic generation. His hardened face and thousand yard stare betray his heartfelt spirit of commitment to us all and our love of the greatest privilege toward which many have striven but few have ever achieved – Freedom.

Respectively in response to Don Allens believe that Operation Jack Stay was the first Amphibious Assault since WWII...... Operation "Double Eagle, of which my ship participated(AO-63 USS Chipola) began January 28,1966. Operation was about 20 miles south of Quang Ngai City(an area controlled by the VC) Marine Units I'm aware participated were BLT2/4,and BLT2/9 SLF2/3 and 3/1, also HMM-362(SLF) and H battery 3/11 Assault was preceded by around the clock massive shore battery bombardment by USN. Hospital ships AH-16 and AH-17(Repose and Sanctuary ) in sttendance. I was assigned to CTF 73 on board USS-Chipola(AO-63) present and accounted for! Respectfully the son of Marine Gerald R Weisenburn (2/2 Combat Engineer Red Beach Two (First Wave) Nov20,43 Tarawa) I be Semper Fi! and Anchors Aweigh!...
GR Weisenburn II(USN1965-71)

"A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate."
- Thomas Jefferson

Those of us who are a part of the camaraderie of brethren known as the United States Marine Corps are noted, not for standing behind the flag, but rather for standing in front of it to defend it and the republic for which it stands. Since the inception of this republic of United States, the Marines have been a band of brothers standing ready to accomplish the requests of their commanders and leaders. The Marine Corps motto, Semper Fidelis, which means Always faithful describes this attitude.

This Marine observed the proceedings involving two of my fallen brethren coming back from Iraq. They were not the Marines in dress blues who held the Stars and Stripes high and at the forefront of the procession. Rather, these Marines were properly reposed under the flag that draped their coffin. These men had been faithful to the end and had been obedient unto death.

This Marine stood by his eighteen-wheeler and offered the only kind of respect and honor he could a salute to his fallen comrades as they passed in review under the large United States flag suspended between two St. Louis Fire Department ladder trucks. Tear dimmed vision did not abate or deny the flood of emotions crashing through my psyche. Parents who had nurtured and watched a son grow from a suckling child into a trained and disciplined Marine will never again have that man express his devotion to them.

Politicians may expound upon what freedom offers; talk show pundits may analyze politicians from their safe and secure surroundings; armchair experts may proclaim who is right and wrong in the battles for freedom; but parents laying their hands on flag-draped coffins well understand the price of freedom. Those parents are the ones who understand fully the paradox of their sacrificed children who were always faithful to the end so that others could have the right and privilege of criticizing them for participating in a war not of their choosing or making. Politicians and pundits may have all the answers, but the families of these fallen comrades know and understand the value of freedom.

Two Marines came home via Lambert Field in St. Louis on September 29, 2004 in flag draped coffins. Tears of loved ones will hallow the ground where these brave young heroes will be placed. Our freedom is insured, not because of a flag or politicians, but because of freshly dug graves.

To my fallen brethren, heroes of the Marine Corps may I say, Semper Fidelis, Marine!

Sgt. Jeryl L. Bennett, USMC
Viet Nam Veteran

"Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."
—Inscription on the Liberty Bell (Leviticus 25:10)

Dear Sgt. Grit,

As a mother of a Marine Reservist, who has been deployed to Iraq twice in the past 3 years, I thank God every day that he is made it home unharmed. I try to stay involved with the local Marine activities, especially supporting our troops that are still in Iraq. I work part-time for a retired Marine, who served in Vietnam. For the past 3 years, he and the Three Rivers Leatherneck Detachment #310 from Pittsburgh, PA. have sent Christmas care packages to troops in Iraq. One of the recipients of this years package, Sgt. Sean Miles, was KIA on January 24, 2006. When they saw the picture of Sgt. Miles son, Tyler in the newspaper; they knew they just had to do something to help out the family. He and some other local Marines, who are also bike enthusiasts, are organizing a ride on August 27,2006. The website is self-explanatory. This ride takes place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

I was wondering if you could include this information and website in your next newsletter.

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I had to send this email to you to share with you the experience my husband and I had last night.

Just one year ago, Chase Edwards, a senior at Barbe High School here in Lake Charles, LA was graduating and planning for his future. His career choice? To become a United States Marine. Chase was assigned to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejuene. In March, he was deployed to Iraq. Tragically, exactly one month later, 19 yr old Private First Class Chase Edwards was killed in combat in Iraq's Al-Anbar province. Last night, he came home for the last time.

The last phase of the long journey from the battlefields of Iraq began Wednesday afternoon at Bush International Airport in Houston, TX. His flag draped coffin was escorted back to Lake Charles by the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Department, the Freedom Riders, his Family and fellow Marines. Along the way the procession was saluted by hundreds of residents in communities like Liberty, Dayton, Beaumont and Orange, Texas.

Here in Lake Charles, a special tribute was planned for our fallen hero. Flags were placed along McNeese Street in front of Chase's Alma Matre. Wednesday evening, the street in front of Barbe High School was lined with hundreds of residents to pay a heartfelt but somber tribute Chase. Friends, Family and complete strangers touched by a young man's sacrifice turned out for a solemn farewell. The hearse was flanked by fellow Marines, as it slowly moved in front of the high school. Our local Firefighters were there, along with active and non active Marines and other military. The flags were amazing. The whole thing was the most beautiful and yet extremely emotional experience. I have seen my husband shed a tear only a handful of times, him being the hard Marine that he is, and this was surely one of those times.

I have chosen to share this with you because I wanted to let everyone out there know, how incredible it feels to have been part of this. We didn't know PFC Chase Edwards. Yet our hearts still wept for him and his family. We took along 3 of our 4 children. They stood their silently (which is a feat in itself for a 3 yr old and 6 yr old) with their hands over their hearts and their flags held high.

PFC Chase Edwards and his family our in our thoughts and prayers as are all the families of our men and women so bravely serving this country of ours. We thank them for the sacrifices they have made and continue to make.

It's not about whether or not you support this war we have faced the last 3 yrs. It's about our men and women who are serving this country. And last night, that reality came home to Lake Charles, LA.

God Bless all and Semper Fi
Cpl. Jason Dufrene and Family, Moss Bluff, LA
1995 - 1999 MAG 39 MALS 39
Camp Pendleton, CA

Sgt Grit: Oorah and Semper Fidelis from a sandbox-bound reservist. Upon returning from the Infantry Training Battalion, I checked in with my unit, only to hear the news that I knew was coming and that my mother dreaded. Marines from my unit were going to war (including all the new joins). As my mother had picked me up at the airport, my CO took the initiative and informed her in person...needless to say, it was a long, quiet ride home (a trip of about three hours). I've had time to squeeze in one semester of college courses at a school that could best be described as left- leaning, not the most motivating of atmospheres. I PT in civilian attire (mostly moto t-shirts from your catalog) and I doubt any of the bystanders know what the Eagle Globe and Anchor represents, much less what it means to those who've earned the right to wear it. But a few days ago, coming back across campus from a 4 or 5 mile loop, I noticed a distinctive stride coming towards me. He wasn't wearing cammies or sporting a high'n'tight, but I thought this fellow had the mark of the Corps on him, straight backed, neatly dressed, and covered. As I ran past, this older gent gave me an OORAH! so of course, I made the quad ring on this sleepy little war-protesting campus. Needless to say, the half mile or so back to my dorm, my feet barely touched the ground- only a reservist or a recently retired Marine can know the importance of a little moto from where it's not expected. Just wanted to thank all the Marine veterans who are doing their part to unf@*k the civilian world, especially the gent in the Yankees baseball cap I met on the quad. Semper Fi Sgt Grit, and KEEP ATTACKING!
Lcpl Doe, USMC

"To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it."
—Thomas Jefferson

Dear Marine,
For many years, most of you have known me and know me well. I was raised in a solid Marine Corps Family. You each have shown most respect to me and my family. I raised my children with your Marines from "Puller Hall", to Parris Island, to Quantico, LeJuene, to Henderson Hall in Washington.

My youngest, well I helped her husband join the Marines. He is doing well at Pendleton. She always wanted to join the Marine Corps. She has done well on the firing ranges at our Marine ranges. Well, now she is doing something she always wanted, she has joined the "Corps". I am not sure if I am truly happy fore I feel it is the men whom must join. But my wife told me it is my fault. I raised all our children just like my Dad with me, with Marines, and my children want to make me happy. They have each made me proud, but it was each of you that showed respect towards not just me, but little kids that have inspired their pride. Pride of the "Corps" and the those whom wear the "Eagle, Globe and Anchor".

What is interesting, is my daughter has been at "PI" numerous times with me, so she does know what she is fully getting into. She has been at Henderson Hall in Washington, LeJuene and Quantico more times than I have fingers and toes. She has always supported me in my efforts with Marines.

I wish to say thank you, to so many of you. I tried as a Dad to be good. To show patriotism and honor, but Marines, you gave me and my family more. "God, Country and Corps" and the love/respect my children have of what you each have given/accomplished for our Nation.

D*mn, you now have all of us! LOL! I am proud.
God Bless America and the United States Marine Corps.

Semper Fi Steve

All New York State Marine Corps Reunion. We are looking for a few good men - to join in the fun June 7 - 10 2007 in Niagara Falls, New York. Visit the web site: http://www.militaryreunionplanners.com/nymar/ and sign up now for updates. All Marines and Navy Corpsmen who served with the Marines, are welcome. See you there Gyrine. Semper Fi

"For those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
Unknown Marine, Khe Sahn, Vietnam 1967
Semper Fi
Carl W2SGX

Good Stuff

Dear Sgt. Grit,

My name is Natascha, and I am a 21 year old Aussie who is so proud and grateful for everything your great service does for the world. I hear of military servicemen and women fighting for freedom, and it brings a tear to my eye. If it were not for people like you, our world would be a very uncertain place. (On another note, I'm amazed anyone can pass the Marines recruit training. I watched a television show on it once, and it looked like legalized torture.)

I've been receiving "Sgt. Grits American courage newsletter for about 6 months, and I have read and kept every edition. It's great that you can publish positive feedback on what's really going on. I have always been interested in the military (I spent my 21st birthday sailing past the USS Ronald Reagan when it docked in Brisbane), but due to a childhood asthmatic condition, I am unable to join at the moment. But I completely appreciate the sacrifice many families go through. My uncle and father were frequently deployed during major battles, and I know how hard it was on my family to have an empty chair at Christmas and other special events. But we loved them more for what they were doing. I also have a friend (USMC) who is currently deployed in Iraq. He gets a little nervous just before a deployment, but he wouldn't swap his life for anything. As he puts it "Once a Marine, always a Marine." I also admire is the loyalty and dedication you show to one another. You are always a unit, and help each other out constantly. Even every situation, a Marine has your back

Australia cannot fight terrorism alone. Our military is just not large enough, considering the scale of the problem! However, by uniting with others who have similar beliefs, we can collectively change the world. So I just want to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to all Marines and Marines families! What you do for your nation is outstanding. I know Australia night seem to be a whiny, unpatriotic US tag-along at times, but we really do feel safer every time we hear of a new deployment or mission. (In fact, we hear more about the success of your missions than anything our own military is doing). Thank you for making a hopeful world.

All I hope is that this gets published so you know that YOU ARE APPRECIATED from many corners! I have a government job, and we tend to consider a US task before one of our own. The least I can do to say thanks is; if any Marine or Marine family member wants free accommodation in Australia (Gold Coast), I am happy to have such wonderful people in my home for as long as they like. (And I'm serious)

Thank you once again from Down Under!
Natascha Grasby

Easter Sunday morning I am having my cup of coffee while I read the Chicago Tribune newspaper and I happen to come across the obituary for L/CPL Philip John Martini USMC who made the supreme sacrifice and gave his all on April 8, 2006 in Iraq. The article states that Philip died " a proud member of 1/1 Bravo Co. 2nd platoon". Although I did not know him personally, he grew up in the area where I live, just a few miles away. My heart and deepest sympathies go out to his parents Philip and Laura and his brothers James, Anthony and Joseph. I will remember daily Philip and all of our other brothers and sisters in our MARINE family who have paid the ultimate price.

My reason for writing this is several fold, first they give a link thru the newspaper for the signing of a guestbook.. www.chicagotribune.com/obituaries and I am asking anyone reading this if you could take a minute of your time and sign the book so that our brothers family will know that he will not be forgotten. I think that if his parents and brothers are seeing MARINES from across this great country take the time to honor a fallen hero it might help to ease the sorrow that they feel, maybe not now because the sorrow is to great but in time.

Another reason for this post is that the obituary mentioned that "In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the injured MARINES Semper Fi Fund" www.semperfifund.org. I must admit that I came across Sgt. Grits newsletter just a few months ago by accident as I was searching on the Internet for "Marine construction gear", Since that time I take an hour or two a night and read back issues of the newsletter and the emotions come out, laughter at boot camp stories and a tear or two in my eyes at some of the other stories This newsletter is helping a lot of people, which brings me back to the fund. I never knew this even existed, maybe everyone else does but "I didn't get the word", wouldn't be the first time. If you check it out you will see that it is a non for profit org. that raises money and services for returning wounded MARINES and Navy Corpsmen. They have stories of how the money is spent and I see no better way to donate time or money to help MARINES who come back wounded and broken, transition from where the CORPS leaves off and the V.A. takes over. To all of us who wish we could do something this is one way to help....Check this site out!

Last item is this Sundays PARADE magazine section in the Chicago Tribune had a article by Dr. Joyce Brothers titled "When The Troops Come Home" the article aims to erase the failures of the government in the past with respect to our returning troops. It states that one/fifth of our returning troops need some form of help. As the article states the government has found plenty of money to wage the war and we should write letters to congress reminding them that it is our responsibility to step up for those that have done our national bidding.

PLEASE do sign the guestbook for Philip and thanks for taking the time to read thru this.


Sgt grit
I would like to hear from any former Marines from New England, who went to Parris Island, January 1956,we were called the Governors Marines. I will never forget getting off the train at Yemasse and being greeted by a Marine PFC,who I thought was God. I was in Platoon 27,4th Bn. I still remember falling out at zero dark thirty for muster, the night that SSgt McKeon ran his platoon in Ribbon Creek. We out posted the following week. We lived in Quonset Huts, and had to scrub the deck with a tooth brush. More than once my DI's helped me to get squared away(if you know what I mean) In l956 we did squad drill, I only wish that I could remember how the drill went. In 1981 I went back to PI to see my son become a Marine. I have taught both Marine Corps and Navy JROTC, and I have had many young men and women join our beloved Corps. Two of my former cadets are Majors in the Corps. and both will soon be up for LTCol. At the present time I do substitute teaching and I see both male and female students who could use Marine Corps boot camp.

God Bless and protect all our Marines who are serving in harms way.

It always pays to tell the truth, and there is no substitute for courage.

Marines Die So You Don't Have To
Marines Die So
You Don't Have To

Strength and Honor
Strength and Honor

Welcome Home, Job Well Done!
God Bless America
Semper fi
Sgt Grit

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